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  • Writer's pictureJacob Curtis

The Ideal Team Player

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

What attributes do you look for in a potential new hire?

You are most likely looking for someone who is reliable and responsible, has passion and enthusiasm for the job, and someone who is a team player, right? But do you know what it takes to be the ideal team player?

In Patrick Lencioni’s book The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues, Lencioni outlines three virtues of an ideal team player: humility, hunger, and smarts (not focused on intellectual smarts, but emotional intelligence.) He points out that team players are developed through their personal and professional experiences and possess a certain level of self-awareness.

The Three Essential Virtues of the ideal team player:

1. Humility - An ideal team player is humble, they do not have an excessive ego and are quick to point out the contributions of others. They are happy to share the credit and prioritize the team, and define success collectively rather than individually. Being humble does not mean that they are not confident, but they know how to put the team first. This is the most important virtue.

2. Hungry- Ideal team players are hungry. They are always looking for more work to do, things to learn, and happy to take on more responsibility. They hardly need to be told to work harder. They are self-motivated and always thinking of the next opportunity to make a valuable contribution.

3. Smart- This pertains to emotional intelligence. The ideal team player has common sense about people. They have intuition and know how to handle people in the most effective way. They have good judgment in group situations and know how to get along with other team members. They understand the impact of their words and actions.

All three of these attributes are necessary for the ideal team player. Even when one is missing from a co-worker, teamwork becomes much more difficult and sometimes impossible! Start developing your current team and embed a culture of teamwork in your business. This will make it easier for your team to work together and overcome any team dysfunction.

If you want to assess yourself or your team, head over to our FREE resource page and download the Employee Self-Assessment here.

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